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New Member Introductions
New members check-in, introduce yourselves, and post a picture of your BMW here!

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Old 01-11-2019, 02:03 PM   #1
hsnyvs
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 4
New owner of E36 M52

Hello Community!

It's been about four months, and I am enjoying a lot.

It is a 97 328i convertible (see picture), with 185500 miles on it. Very minor cosmetic issue. The while paint has some black pits that are visible with close inspection. I am planning to wax it after a thorough cleaning.

It is a manual and the clutch wasn't happy, which has been replaced by now.

Sad news is that the engine light came on. I purchased an OBDFusion to read the codes and fix it myself if I can. I posted on the E36 forum, but it seems there were no new threads since December 31. I am not sure if it is closed down or the moderators are not fully back from the winter break.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:26 PM   #2
Ettinger
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: NY
Posts: 596
My Ride: 4 doors, 3 pedals
Welcome hsnyvs!

The cooling system is fragile on your E36. Put a refresh at the top of your list if you do not have documentation of an overhaul in the last 60,000 miles.

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=713745

Buy a Bentley manual, and make use of the search functions here and on related forums - key in DTCs & symptoms alike; read carefully and your troubleshooting abilities will improve.

As to the cosmetic issue you pointed out: give the vehicle a thorough two-bucket wash, rinse, IronX application, wash again, rinse, then use a clay bar to remove contamination from the paint surface. Correction & Protection of the paint surface can then be performed. If you want more detailed information about this, head over to the Car Care & Detailing section.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:57 PM   #3
hsnyvs
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 4
Thanks Ettinger!

I have a huge folder of documents on previous repairs. I will go trough them, thanks for the tip.

Any idea on how I can figure out the causes of the engine light?
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:57 PM   #4
Ettinger
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: NY
Posts: 596
My Ride: 4 doors, 3 pedals
Glad to help. Read the DTC(s) & share them here.

https://www.obdsoftware.net/knowledgebase/videos
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:44 PM   #5
Bidno
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: TX
Posts: 885
My Ride: 2002 325i
Also, if you have access to a laptop, you will have much better success troubleshooting using BMW Scanner software. You only must purchase USB to ODB connector (<$20). Search the forum for info (e.g. compatibility with e36), instructions, and download. This is worth its weight in gold. Enjoy!
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:58 PM   #6
hsnyvs
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 4
The codes are:
P1188
P1189
P1250

Bidno,
I already have OBDFusion. It seems to be working fine: I can connect, look at many parameters live, and also record log files without any problem. The thing is I need to learn what these readings mean.
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Old 03-01-2019, 04:06 PM   #7
hsnyvs
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 4
Resolved

Hello all,

I used a smoke machine to check if there is any vacuum leaks. There was a tiny leak where the vacuum hose that supplies the brake booster connects to the engine (right in front of the oil dip stick). See the green arrow on this picture https://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/tec...ld/Pic2-01.jpg

I used a home-made smoke machine before, but couldn't locate the leak, it is very small. So, it seems you need some pressure to make the leak somewhat observable. I went to a DIYorDie shop in San Jose and got help from the resident mechanic. They let me use speciality equipments like smoke machines for a fee ($10).

Anyway, I tightened that hose clamp, cleared the error codes. After more than 80 miles of driving, the codes didn't come back. The problem seems to be resolved.

My suggestion for those who experience similar problems to check all the hose clamp and connections and visible cracks on the vacuum lines and hoses.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:28 AM   #8
Bidno
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: TX
Posts: 885
My Ride: 2002 325i
For future ref, BMW Scanner software allows you to read codes from the BMW modules.
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Old 03-27-2019, 10:27 AM   #9
Archbid
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Marin, California
Posts: 2,783
My Ride: 330ci Convertible
Year: 03
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
If your pre-cat o2 sensors are original or more than 120miles old then replace them. Also if MAF is original it is a likely culprit.
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